N.J. Nair

Target for this

year is 33,700

Only 1,770 proposals approved

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Absence of an efficient coordinating mechanism has impeded the smooth implementation of the Prime Minister’s Employment Guarantee Programme (PMEGP) in the State. The Centre’s decision to entrust its execution with three agencies has affected the rate of absorption of funds and the pace of achieving the target within the deadline set by the Centre.

The credit-linked subsidy programme, formed by merging the Prime Minister’s Rozgar Yojana (PMRY) and the Rural Employment Generation Programme (REGP) for generating employment opportunities among unemployed youth aged between 18 and 35 years through micro-enterprises, was seen as a sensible option for creating a new breed of entrepreneurs, but the norm to involve different agencies has put a damper on the programme.

All those in this age group and have passed Class VIII would get assistance for setting up a unit costing Rs.10 lakh in the manufacturing sector and Rs.5 lakh in the business sector or the service sector. No collateral security is needed for projects up to Rs.5 lakh in the industries sector and those between Rs.5 lakh and Rs.25 lakh in the service sector. Banks can avail themselves of security under the Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme.

Four district-level task forces have been formed under District Industries Centre (DIC) general managers, six under Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) officials and four under Khadi and Village Industries Board (KVIB) personnel to clear projects submitted by prospective entrepreneurs in each district.

Approvals

Official sources told The Hindu that against this year’s target of 33,700 projects in the State, only 1,770 proposals have been approved so far. As per norms, the first instalment should be given to the beneficiaries by February 15. The task forces headed by the DICs have cleared 708 proposals and 531 each by those headed by the KVIC and the KVIB.

Poor interaction of the KVIC and KVIB officials with the district administration has been cited as the main reason for the failure in utilising the sanctioned funds. The board and the commission do not have a competent machinery to study and assess the merit of the proposals. The Centre should either make the DICs the nodal agency for executing the project or include representatives of local self-government institutions in the task force for approving proposals, sources said.

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